Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative
January 15, 2021 – February 28, 2021
Exhibition: January 15, 2021-February 28, 2021
Public Opening and Award Ceremony: Friday, January 15, 2021
Organized by Stamps Gallery, Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative is a new awards program designed to support the development of contemporary artists living and working in Michigan. This inaugural program recognizes the creativity, rigor, and innovation of Michigan-based artists and collaboratives — and honors their role in inspiring the next generations of artists in our state.
Open to all emerging and mid-career contemporary artists from Michigan working in all types of media to apply; 3-5 artists will be selected by a panel of prominent national jurors for a group exhibition at Stamps Gallery from January 15-February 28, 2021.
At the exhibition opening and award ceremony on Friday, January 15, 2021, one artist in the exhibition will be awarded a $5,000 prize. The exhibition will tour to different venues in Michigan, including the Crooked Tree Art Center in Traverse City.
- To receive the award, artists must live and work in Michigan and be a 'legal resident' or U.S. citizen.
- Artists must be at least 20 years old and not be enrolled in a University program at an undergraduate or graduate level.
- The initiative is open to emerging and mid-career artists and collaboratives living and working in Michigan.
- Emerging artists are early in their artistic careers (regardless of age), they have a small exhibition record and their practices are not yet considered well established professionally by indicators of museum exhibitions, gallery representation, publications. They have been practicing professionally for at least three years.
- Mid-career artists have passed the early stages of their careers. They have a growing body of work and whose work have attained a fair degree of public exposure through exhibitions, publications, and media coverage.
- This initiative seeks to support artists who are gaining momentum and committed to pushing the boundaries of their chosen medium. These artists are at a critical stage in their careers and in the threshold of taking their work to the next level.
- Submission period now closed.
- August 11, 2020: Finalists announced
- January 15-February 28, 2021: Exhibition
- January 15, 2021: Public Opening and Award Ceremony Event
Video: Envision Info Session/Webinar
Stamps Gallery Director and Curator Srimoyee Mitra introduces Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative, discusses the application process, and presents a timeline for the jurying and exhibition. This online info session was recorded on March 21, 2020.
Click here to view the Canva presentation shared in the info session.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to have a University of Michigan affiliation to participate?
Do you have to be a Michigan resident to participate?
To receive the award, artists must live and work in Michigan and be a 'legal resident' or U.S. citizen.
How do I share this initiative with my friends and colleagues?
This is the inaugural year of the Envision: Michigan Artist Initiative program and we are working hard to reach diverse Michigan-based artists across the state. Please join us in spreading the word about this initiative by sharing items from our “grassroots toolkit” and/or the call for submission link with your networks. This application is free and open to all emerging and mid-career Michigan-based artists. Please share this call for submission with your networks and fellow artists.
I am an artist from Michigan and I’m interested in applying, but I can’t find the application form?
The application form will be available on this page on March 16 and will be open until May 15, 2020. We invite you to apply for Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative after March 16, 2020.
How does Stamps Gallery define emerging and mid-career artists?
Emerging artists are early in their artistic careers (regardless of age), they have a small exhibition record and their practices are not yet considered well established professionally by indicators of museum exhibitions, gallery representation, publications. They have been practicing professionally for at least three years.
Mid-career artists have passed the early stages of their careers. They have a growing body of work and have attained a fair degree of public exposure through exhibitions, publications, and media coverage.
Are there tax implications for the award?
At the end of the calendar year, the University of Michigan will send the recipient a 1099-MISC form, as this prize is considered “income.”
Where is the exhibition with the finalists going to take place?
The exhibition will take place at Stamps Gallery (201 South Division Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104)
I am not a student any longer, but can I apply for Envision with my thesis project?
Work that was completed for a class or assignment while you were a student can't be submitted, but work that has been continued after graduation is eligible.
Are there any age restrictions for emerging and mid-career artists?
Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative is open to applicants 20 years of age and over.
Is there an entrance fee to apply for Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative?
No, there is no entrance fee. The application will be available from March 16, 2020 until May 15, 2020, and is open to artists that live and work in Michigan.
What is the maximum number of images one can submit?
We can accept between 7 & 12 images. The application also allows for the submission of video and audio files.
Can more than one series of work be submitted by one artist?
Yes. Submit examples that best represent the direction your artistic practice is currently taking.
Are there restrictions to installation work?
If you are selected as one of the finalists by the jurors, you will be invited to participate in the group exhibition. Gallery staff will then reach out to your about which works will be appropriate to include in the exhibition based on thethe physical constraints of the gallery space. For example, gallery track lighting is hung 10 feet from the floor.
Is there any restricted subject matter
No. Stamps gallery does not censor artists.
Are we submitting finished works? Or is the award to create a new work?
Please submit examples of finished work. Jurors are selecting exhibiting artists, not necessarily specific artworks. The cash prize will not be awarded until the time of the opening reception for the exhibition of Envision finalists at Stamps Gallery. The prize is unrestricted and can be used by the winner for whatever they choose.
Are University of Michigan employees eligible?
Yes University of Michigan employees are eligible to apply and receive the award.
Does a writing document count as an image?
If it is a text-based or performance-based artwork then yes. You will need to include an installation image or a video, whichever you feel will do the most justice for the work and help the jurors get a better sense of it.
How many works will be exhibited by each artist?
It depends on the artist and their work. We have intentionally not predetermined a specific number of works from each artist. Stamps Gallery will enter into a curatorial process with each selected finalist to develop the exhibition.
Are design industries eligible such as product design or surface pattern design?
Yes. All forms of creative production are welcome to apply, and the application is free.
Is there an opportunity to describe each piece, i.e. size, medium, inspiration, title etc
We encourage you to use the artist statement to summarize your work as a whole. Text entry fields for each file you submit do not exist on the Café application and jurors will not have capacity to review annotations for every single image. However, please include a caption for each image noting the title of the work, dimensions/ (duration if it is a sound of video work), year and any other details of the work.
Can groups apply?
Yes. Collaboratives and Collectives are encouraged to apply. Consider carefully how to submit supplemental materials. CVs could be submitted as a record of the exhibition of a given collective, or as individual cv for the artists participating in the collective.
Does the work submitted for consideration need to be the work that would be displayed in the gallery exhibition if selected?
The work that will be shown in the gallery does not need to be the work submitted with your application. However, the expectation is that the work being exhibited would bear a reasonable resemblance to, or expand upon the body of work submitted when you apply.
Should you have further questions about the application, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This program is supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
- Online Event: Envision: The Michigan Artists Initiative Launch + Information Session / Saturday, March 21, 2020, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Stamps Gallery Closed to the Public
Following guidance from University administrators and public health officials in response to COVID-19, Stamps Gallery is closed until further notice, and all scheduled in-person events and exhibitions have been canceled.
201 S. Division Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104 (between Liberty St. and Washington St. in downtown Ann Arbor)